"It's safe to say if there was a Mensa for animals, corvids would be
crowing about it. They can plan like us, make tools like us, and might
even be consciously judging us for all we know. We get it, they're super
Just to rub it in, there's now evidence that their cognitive development
might even be a little quicker than ours. Hand-raised common ravens
(Corvus corax) have all their mental skills by just four months of age,
all without watching a single episode of Sesame Street.
Researchers from the Max Planck Institutes for Ornithology and
Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany ran eight ravens in their care
through a modified version of the Primate Cognition Test Battery (PCTB)
every four months since hatching.
This series of tests doesn't just examine 'thinking' skills to do with
spatial relationships, object permanence, causality, and tool use – it
deals with social abilities, communication, and theory of mind.
They compared the birds' results with data gathered previously on
primates, including results on chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and
orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus), as well as parrots.
They found by just four months of age, the ravens already had the social
and other cognitive skills expected of an adult raven. This is in spite
of having a brain that wasn't yet fully grown.
Since these skills are comparable with those of a great apes', it means
ravens that are barely able to fly can already solve problems that would
make an orangutan scratch its head in deep thought."
Share and enjoy,
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics